Henry J. (Henry Jarvis) Raymond.

Lincoln, his life and times : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages, letters, and proclamations, and the closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 2) online

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Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and times : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages, letters, and proclamations, and the closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 2) → online text (page 8 of 41)
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instant. As a summary of the whole, it may be stated that General
Blair holds no military commission or appointment other than as
herein stated, and that it is believed he is now acting as major-gen-
eral upon the assumed validity of the commission herein stated, and
not otherwise.

There are some letters, notes, telegrams, 'orders, entries and per-
haps other documents, in connection with this subject, which it is
believed would throw no additional light upon it, but which will be
cheerfully furnished if desired. Abraham Lincoln.

The House on the next day passed a resolution calling for
all the letters and documents having reference to the affair,


and on May 2d the President sent to Congress the following

To the Honorable House of Representatives :

In compliance with the request contained in your resolution of the
29th ultimo, a copy of which resolution is herewith returned, I have
the honor to transmit the following:

Executive Mansion, Washington, November 2, 1863.
Hon. Montgomery Blair.

My Dear Sir: — Some days ago I understood you to say that your
brother, General Frank Blair, desires to be guided by my wishes as
to whether he will occupy his seat in Congress or remain in the field.
My wish, then, is compounded of what I believe will be best for the
country; and it is that he will come here, put his military commis-
sion in my hands, take his seat, go into caucus with our friends,
abide the nominations, help elect the nominees, and thus aid to
organize a House of Representatives which will really support the
Government in the war. If the result shall be the election of him-
self as Speaker, let him serve in that position. If not, let him retake
his commission and return to the army for the benefit of the country.

This will heal a dangerous schism for him. It will relieve him
from a dangerous position or a misunderstanding, as I think he is in
danger of being permanently separated from those with whom only
he can ever have a real sympathy — the sincere opponents of slavery.

It will be a mistake if he shall allow the provocations offered him
by insincere time-servers to drive him from the house of his own
building. He is young yet. He has abundant talents — quite enough
to occupy all his time without devoting any to temper.

He is rising in military skill and usefulness. His recent appoint-
ment to the command of a corps, by one so competent to judge as
General Sherman, proves this. In that line he can serve both the
country and himself more profitably than he could as a member
of Congress upon the floor.

The foregoing is what I would say if Frank Blair was my brother
instead of yours.

(Signed) A. Lincoln.

(After some unimportant documents, the resignation of General
Blair was annexed, dated January 1, 1864, and its acceptance by the
President on January 12th. Then came the following telegram: — )

Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C, March 15.
Lieutenant-General Grant, Nashville, Tennessee :

General McPherson having been assigned to the command of a
department, could not General Frank Blair, without difficulty or
detriment to the service, be assigned to the command of the corps
he commanded awhile last autumn?

(Signed) A. Lincoln.

(Then came some dispatches showing that General Logan was in
command of that corps, the Fifteenth, and that General Blair was to


be assigned to the Seventeenth, and General Blair's request,, dated
April 20th, that he be assigned to the Seventeenth Corps at once.
Then came the following note : — )

Executive Mansion, Washington, April 23, 1864.
Hon. Secretary of War:

My Dear Sir: — According to our understanding with Major-Gen-
eral Frank P. Blair, at the time he took his seat in Congress, last
winter, he now asks to withdraw his resignation, then tendered, and
be sent to the field. Let this be done. Let the order sending him
be such as shown to-day by the Adjutant-General, only dropping
from it the names of Maguire and Perkins.

Yours truly, A. Lincoln.

(After giving General Blair's request to withdraw his resignation
and his appointment to the Seventeenth Corps, the Message closed
as follows : — )

The foregoing constitutes all sought by the resolution, so far as
remembered or has been found by diligent search.
May 2, 1864. • Abraham Lincoln.

On April 28th, the President sent to Congress the fol-
lowing Message, which sufficiently explains itself: —

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives:

I have the honor to transmit herewith an address to the President
of the United States, and through him to both Houses of Congress,
on the condition of the people of East Tennessee, and asking their
attention to the necessity for some action on the part of the Gov-
ernment for their relief, and which address is presented by the Com-
mittee or Organization, called "The East Tennessee Relief Associa-
tion." Deeply commiserating the condition of those most loyal people,
I am unprepared to make any specifice recommendation for their re-
lief. The military is doing, and will continue to do, the best for
them within its power. Their address represents that the construc-
tion of a direct railroad communication between Knoxville and Cin-
cinnati, by way of Central Kentucky, would be of great consequence
in the present emergency. It may be remembered that in my
Annual Message of December, 1861, such railroad construction was
recommended. I now add that, with the hearty concurrence of Con-
gress, I would yet be pleased to construct the road, both for the
relief of those people and for its continuing military importance.

Abraham Lincoln.

Other matters engrossing the attention of Congress, no
definite action was taken upon the subject thus referred to.

A bill was passed on March 2d, restoring the grade of
Lieutenant-General, and General Grant was appointed by the
President, with the assent of the Senate, to that office, and


invested with the command of the armies of the United

The commission was handed by the President to General
Grant, at the White House, on the 9th of March ; and as
lie gave it, he thus addressed him : —

General Grant : — The expression of the nation's approbation of
what you have already done, and its reliance on you for what remains
to do in the existing great struggle, is now presented with this com-
mission constituting you Lieutenant-General of the Army of the
United States.

With this high honor, devolves on you an additional responsibility.
As the country herein trusts you, so, under God, it will sustain you.
I scarcely need add. that with what I here speak for the country, goes
my own hearty personal concurrence.

General Grant responded as follows : —

Mr. President: — I accept this commission, with gratitude for the
high honor conferred.

With the aid of the noble armies that have fought on so many
fields for our common country, it will be my earnest endeavor not
to disappoint your expectations.

I feel the full weight of the responsibilities now devolving on me,
and I know that if they are met. it will be due to those armies; and
above all, to the favor of that Providence which leads both nations
and men.

General Grant announced his assumption of command un-
der this appointment by a General Order, issued at Nash-
ville on the 17th of March.

Towards the close of the year 1863, as the terms of ser-
vice of many of the volunteer forces were about to expire,
the President issued a proclamation for three hundred thou-
sand volunteers. The military successes of the season had
raised the public courage and inspired new confidence in the
final issue of the contest for the preservation of the Union;
it was believed, therefore, that an appeal for volunteers would
be responded to with alacrity, and save the necessity for a
resort to another draft. The proclamation was as follows ; —


By the President of the United States.

Whereas, the term of service of part of the volunteer forces of the
United States will expire during the coming year; and. wberea?. in
addition to the men by the present draft, it is deemed expedient to


call out three hundred thousand volunteers to serve for three years
or during the war, not, however, exceeding three years : Now, there-
fore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, and Com-
mander-in-Chief of the army and navy thereof, and of the militia of
the several States when called into actual service, do issue this my
proclamation, calling upon the Governors of the different States to
raise, and have enlisted into the United States service, for the various
companies and regiments in the field from their respective States,
the quotas of three hundred thousand men.

I further proclaim that all the volunteers thus called out and duly
enlisted shall receive advance pay, premium, and bounty, as hereto-
fore communicated to the Governors of States by the War Depart-
ment through the Provost-Marshal General's office, by special letters.

I further proclaim that all volunteers received under this call, as
well as all others not heretofore credited, shall be duly credited and
deducted from the quotas established for the next draft.

I further proclaim that if any State shall fail to raise the quota as-
signed to it by the War Department under this call, then a draft for |
the deficiency in said quota shall be made in said State, or in the dis-
tricts of said State, for their due proportion of said quota, and the
said draft shall commence on the 5th day of January, 1864.

And I further proclaim that nothing in this proclamation shall in-
terfere with existing orders, or with those which may be issued for
the present draft in the States where it is now in progress, or where
it has not yet been commenced.

The quotas of the States and districts will be assigned by the War
Department through the Provost-Marshal General's office, due regard
being had for the men heretofore furnished, whether by volunteering
or drafting; and the recruiting will be conducted in accordance with
such instructions as have been or may be issued by that Department.

In issuing this proclamation, I address myself not only to the Gov-
ernors of the several States, but also to the good and loyal people
thereof, invoking them to lend their cheerful, willing, and effective
aid to the measures thus adopted, with a view to re-enforce our vic-
torious army now in the field, and bring our needful military opera-
tions to a prosperous end, thus closing forever the fountains of sedi-
tion and civil war.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the
seal of the United States to be affixed.

- Done at the City of Washington, this 17th day of October,
[l. s.] 1863, and of the independence of the United States the
eighty-seventh. Abraham Lincoln.

By the President:

William H. Seward, Secretary of State.

By the act of 1861 for raising troops, a Government
bounty of one hundred dollars was paid to each volunteer;
and this amount had been increased from time to time, until
each soldier who had already filled his term of service was
entitled to receive four hundred dollars on re-enlisting, and


each new volunteer three hundred. After the President's
proclamation was issued, enlistments, especially of men al-
ready in the service, proceeded with great rapidity, and the
amount to be paid for bounties threatened to be very large.
Under these circumstances, Congress adopted an amend-
ment to the enrollment act, by which the payment of all
bounties, except those authorized by the act of 1861, was to
cease after the 5th day of January. Both the Secretary of
War and the Provost-Marshal General feared that the effect
of this, when it came to be generally understood, would be
to check the volunteering, which was then proceeding in a
very satisfactory manner ; and on the 5th of January, the
day when the prohibition was to take effect, the President
sent to Congress the following communication : —

Washington, January 5, 1864.

Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives:

By a joint resolution of your honorable bodies, approved December
23, 1863, the paying of bounties to veteran volunteers, as now prac-
tised by the War Department, is, to the extent of three hundred dol-
lars in each case, prohibited after the fifth day of the present month.
I transmit for your consideration a communication from the Secre-
tary of War, accompanied by one from the Provost-Marshal General
to him, both relating to the subject above mentioned. I earnestly
recommend that this law be so modified as to allow bounties to be
paid as they now are at least to the ensuing 1st day of February. I
am not without anxiety lest I appear to be importunate in thus recall-
ing your attention to a s-ubject upon which you have so recently
acted, and nothing but a deep conviction that the public interest de-
mands it could induce me to incur the hazard of being misunderstood
on this point. The Executive approval was given by me to the
resolution mentioned, and it is now by closer attention and a fuller
knowledge of facts that I feel constrained to recommend a reconsid-
eration of the subject. A. Lincoln.

A resolution extending the payment of bounties, in ac-
cordance with this recommendation, to the first of April,
was at once reported by the Military Committee of the Sen-
ate and passed by both Houses of Congress.

The volunteering, however, did not appear to supply men
with sufficient rapidity, and on the 1st of February, 1864, the
President made the following order: —

Executive Mansion, February 1, 1864.

Ordered, that a draft for five hundred thousand men, to serve for
three year's or during the war, be made on the 10th day of March


next, for the military service of the United States, crediting and de-
ducting therefrom so many as may have been enlisted or drafted into
th^service prior to the ist day of March, and not heretofore credited.
(Signed) Abraham Lincoln.

The effect of this order was not only to stimulate enlist-
ments, but also to induce a general application of all credits
that could possibly be made, to reduce the quotas of the
different districts, and many of them, before. the time came
round, were enabled to announce themselves entirely out of
the draft. Partly on this account, doubtless, before the ioth
of March came the draft was indefinitely postponed, and on
the 15th of March another order was made calling for the
additional number of two hundred thousand men, "in order
to supply the force required to be drafted for the navy, and
to provide an adequate reserve force for all contingencies."
The various districts were required to fill their quotas by the
15th of April, and it was announced that where they had not
done so, a draft would be commenced as soon after that date
as practicable.

Some persons holding positions as consuls of foreign pow-
ers having claimed to be exempt from the draft on that
ground, the following order was made on the subject on the
19th of May, 1864, the immediate occasion of it being such
a claim on the part of a Mr. Hunt, Consul of Belgium, at
St. Louis : —

It is officially announced by the State Department that citizens of
the United States holding commissions and recognized as Consuls of
foreign powers, are not by law exempt from military service if drafted :

Therefore the mere enrollment of a citizen holding a foreign con-
sulate will not be held to vacate his commission, but if he shall be
drafted his exequatur will be revoked unless he shall have previously
resigned in order that another consul may be received.

An exequatur bearing date the 3d day of May, 1858, having been
issued to Charles Hunt, a citizen of the United States, recognizing
him as a Consul of Belgium for St. Louis, Missouri, and declaring
him free to exercise and enjoy such functions, powers, and privileges
as are allowed to the consuls of the most favored nations in the
United States, and the said Hunt having sought to screen himself
from his military duty to his country, in consequence of thus being
invested with the consular functions of a foreign power in the United
States, it is deemed advisable that the said Charles Hunt should no
longer be permitted to continue in the exercise of said functions,
powers, and privileges.

These are therefore to declare that I no longer recognize the said
Hunt as Consul of Belgium, for St. Louis, Missouri, and will not per-


mit him to exercise or enjoy any of the functions, powers, or privi-
leges allowed to consuls of that nation, and that I do hereby wholly
revoke and annul the said exequatur heretofore given, and do declare
the same to be absolutely null and void from this day forward.

In testimony whereof, I have caused these letters to be made pat-
ent, and the seal of the United States of America to be hereunto

Given under my hand at Washington, this 19th day of May, in
the year of our Lord 1S64, and of the independence of the
United States of America the eighty-eighth.

Abraham Lincoln.
By the President:

Wm. H". Seward, Secretary of State.

Recruiting under the order of March 15th continued to
progress, but not with sufficient rapidity. On the 23d of
April, the Governors of Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana,
and Ohio tendered to the Government a force of one hun-
dred thousand men from those States, to serve for one hun-
dred days. The proposition was accepted, and on recom-
mendation of the Secretary of War, Congress voted twenty-
five million dollars to defray the expenses — the resolution
being passed without debate, and by almost unanimous con-




State Governments in Louisiana and Arkansas. — Difference of Views
Between the President and Congress. — The Rebellion and Labor. —
The President on Benevolent Associations. — Advancing Action
Concerning the Negro Race. — Free State Constitutions.

The proclamation which accompanied the Annual Mes- (
sage of the President for 1864 embodies the first suggestions
of the Administration on the important subject of recon-
structing the Governments of those States which had joined
in the secession movement. The matter had been canvassed
somewhat extensively by the public press, and by prominent
politicians, in anticipation of the overthrow of the rebellion,
and the view taken of the subject had been determined, to a
very considerable extent, by the sentiments and opinions of
the different parties as to the object and purpose of the war.
The supporters of the Administration did not all hold pre-
cisely -the same ground on this subject. As has already been
seen, in the debates of the Congress of 1862-3, a considerable
number of the friends of the Government, in both houses,,
maintained that, by the act of secession, the revolted States
had put themselves outside the pale of the Constitution, and
were henceforth to be regarded and treated, not as members
of the Union, but as alien enemies :* — that their State organ-

*President Lincoln's view of this position is stated in the following
note addressed by him to the publishers of the North American Re-
view, which contained an article upon his policy of administration : —

Executive Mansion, Washington, January 16, 1864.
"Messrs. Crosby & Nichols:

"Gentlemen : — The number for this month and year of the North
American Review was duly received, and for which please accept my
thanks. Of course I am not the most impartial judge, yet, with due
allowance for this, I venture to hope that the article entitled 'The
President's Policy' will be of value to the country. I fear I am not
worthy of all which is therein kindly said of me personally.


izations and State boundaries had been expunged by their
own act; and that they were to be readmitted to the jurisdic-
tion of the Constitution, and to the privileges of the Union,
only upon such terms and conditions as the Federal Govern-
ment of the loyal States might prescribe. On the other
hand, it was held that the acts of secession, passed by the
several State Governments, were absolutely null and void,
and that while the persons who passed them, and those who
aided in giving them effect, by taking up arms against the
United States, had rendered themselves liable individually
to the penalties of treason, they had not, in any respect,
changed the relations of their States, as such, to the Federal
Government. The governments of those States had been for
a time subverted; but they might at any time be re-estab-
lished upon a republican basis, under the authority and pro-
tection of the United States. The proclamation proceeded,
in the main, upon the latter theory. The President had the
power, under the Constitution, and by specific legislation of
Congress, to grant pardons upon such conditions as he

"The sentence of twelve lines, commencing at the top of page 252,
I could wish to be not exactly what it is. In what is there expressed,
the writer has not correctly understood me. I have never had a
theory that secession could absolve States or people from their obli-
gations. Precisely the contrary is asserted in the inaugural address;
and it was because of my belief in the continuation of those obliga-
tions that I was puzzled, for a time, as to denying the legal rights
of those citizens who remained individually innocent of treason or
rebellion. But I mean no more now than to merely call attention
to this point. Yours respectfully,

"A. Lincoln."

The sentence referred to by Mr. Lincoln is as follows : —

"Even so long ago as when Mr. Lincoln, not yet convinced of the
danger and magnitude of the crisis, was endeavoring to persuade him-
self of Union majorities at the South, and carry on a war that was
half peace, in the hope of a peace that would have been all war,
while he was still enforcing the Fugitive Slave law, under some
theory that secession, however it might absolve States from their
obligations, could not escheat them of their claims under the Con-
stitution, and that slaveholders in rebellion had alone, among mor-
tals, the privilege of having their cake and eating it at the same
time, — the enemies of free government were striving to persuade the
people that the war was an abolition crusade. To rebel without
reason was proclaimed as one of the rights of man, while it was care-
fully kept out of sight that to suppress rebellion is the first duty of


might deem expedient. In the exercise of this power,
President Lincoln released from legal penalties and re-
stored to the rights of citizenship all, in each State, with
certain specified exceptions, who should take and abide by
a prescribed oath; and then he proclaimed his purpose to
recognize them as the citizens of such State, and as alone
competent to organize and carry on the local government;
and he pledged the power of the General Government to
protect such republican State Governments as they might
establish, "against invasion, and against domestic violence."
By way of precaution against a usurpation of power by
strangers, he insisted on the same qualifications for voting
as had been required by the constitution and laws of the
State previous to secession : — and to provide against usurpa-
tion of power by an insignificant minority, he also required
that the new government should be elected by at least one-
tenth as many voters as had voted in the State at the Presi-
dential election of i860. In the oath which he imposed as
essential to citizenship, the President required a pledge to
sustain the Constitution of the United States, the laws of
Congress, and the Executive proclamations and acts on the
subject of slavery, so long and so far as the same should
not be declared invalid and of no binding obligation by the
Supreme Court of the United States. These were the
foundations of the broad and substantial basis laid by the
President for the restoration of the Union, and the re-estab-
lishment of loyal republican governments in the several
seceded States.

Various indications in the Southern States had satisfied
the President that the time had come when the work of re-
construction might safely and wisely be thus commenced
In Tennessee, where the rebels had never maintained any

Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and times : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages, letters, and proclamations, and the closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 2) → online text (page 8 of 41)